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William Bigler


In office
January 14, 1856 – March 3, 1861
Preceded by James Cooper
Succeeded by Edgar Cowan

Born January 11, 1814(1814-01-11)
Dromgolds Corner (Near Shermansdale) Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died August 9, 1880 (aged 66)
Clearfield, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Profession Politician, Printer, Lumberman, Railroad President

William Bigler (January 11, 1814 – August 9, 1880) was the 12th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1852 to 1855, and later a U.S. Senator for the Democratic Party.

Bigler was born in rural Pennsylvania and received little formal education; he studied informally under his elder brother John Bigler (later governor of California), publisher of the Centre County Democrat newspaper. Bigler founded his own political newspaper, the Clearfield Democrat, in 1833, and later became wealthy in the lumber business. In the 1840s he served in the Pennsylvania senate, and he defeated incumbent governor William F. Johnston for the governor's seat in 1851. Although Bigler opposed slavery in principle, he supported the federal government's Fugitive Slave Act and the pro-slavery Kansas-Nebraska Act. He was defeated for a second term by James Pollock, the candidate of the newly formed Republican Party. Following his term as governor, he served in the United States Senate from 1856 to 1861.

Bigler Hall on the University Park campus of Penn State is named after William Bigler.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
William F. Johnston
Governor of Pennsylvania
1852 – 1855
Succeeded by
James Pollock
United States Senate
Preceded by
James Cooper
United States Senator (Class 3) from Pennsylvania
January 14, 1856 – March 3, 1861
Served alongside: Richard Brodhead and Simon Cameron
Succeeded by
Edgar Cowan
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